2017: Best Business Local SEO Practices

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 10, 2017
Creating a local SEO strategy for a small business takes a much different approach than one for a major corporation. Because local businesses need to see real customers come in their doors, a local SEO strategy needs to focus digital marketing efforts on a specific area or location.

To ensure your listings are getting placed in front of the right individuals, there are a few key steps that your SEO strategy must take. For local businesses in 2017, here are a few local SEO best practices that you should follow.
1. Focus on positive reviews.

To boost your chances of getting noticed by search engines and customers, you need to have positive reviews that tell potential customers that you have a service worth purchasing. With the ease of online reviews, having encouraging words posted online is one of the best ways to boost your presence.

Always provide a quality service that customers will want to share with their friends and family. To further encourage happy customers to leave you something positive, all you need to do is ask. Be sure to consistently get positive reviews on Google My Business, Yelp, Facebook, and more.
2. Create a Google My Business Page.

Google My Business is one of the most important tools for a local business. Because Google makes an effort to make it as easy as possible for users to find the information they’re looking for, Google My Business displays all your business information right within the listing.

However, Google puts the responsibility on you to fully update and optimize your listing. This means that you will need to claim your business’s Google My Business page and fill in all the appropriate information. If you do not have a Google My Business page or you have not properly filled it out, you may be missing customers and opportunities.
3. Use consistent NAP information.

Small businesses rely on people contacting them on the phone or in a brick and mortar location. This means that information needs to be clearly available for customers to view. However, you also want to ensure that this information is consistent throughout each page and listing.

If your NAP information, which includes your Name, Address, and Phone Number, are not consistent through each listing, search engine crawlers may not be able to put it together that you are the same company. Instead of giving you the SEO benefit of having multiple listings pointing back to your website, inconsistent information will be confusing. Go through your listings to determine if there are any discrepancies.
4. Optimize location-specific keywords.

Keywords are the foundation of any SEO strategy. For a local business, those keywords need to reflect the area that you serve. In order to rank highly for a local search, you need to incorporate your city and state into the keywords that you choose to target.

If you serve multiple areas, you will want to use multiple location-specific keywords during your content creation. Be sure to use these location-specific keywords in your titles, headers, and meta descriptions.
5. Be mobile friendly.

Many local searches are done on a mobile device or tablet. Because visitors are exploring your page on smaller screens, they need to be able to maneuver your site without much difficulty.

Having a fully responsive site means that it does not matter how your audience is viewing your content, they will still be able to clearly read your content, pages, and posts. This can improve your SEO strategy by keeping visitors happy with your content and exploring your page.

If you’re a local business looking to create a local SEO strategy for your company, don’t waste your time trying to target more than the location that you serve. With these five best practices for creating a local SEO strategy in 2017, you can start pulling in more customers in your area.